A woman in a poppy-print tent dress and a man sporting
a mud puddle-color mock turtleneck sweater take turns
spinning yarns that tumble to the formica in interlocked
mid-century designs. Alone at the next booth, you pick up
random sequences of words. The woman says, “I want
a different backstory.” You see a silver train arriving
at a ghost town station. The man replies, “I was driving
in the rain, when a car in front of me suddenly swerved.”
You watch him carve an arc into the air. You press
the heels of your hands to your eyes. The afternoon
is steadily turning to a play performed with tweezers.
Unfocused drizzle dims the window. You think:
If an angel squandering misspent hours were to scoop
me in its awful wings, if one night the blurry rushes
were to vibrate the muddy river to song… The man takes
a comb out of his pocket, runs it through thinning hair
in one unbroken move. The woman slides out sideways,
scowls as she snags her red tights on the vicious vinyl.
About the Author
Maureen Cosgrove is a poet, tap dancer and artist, who has made Boston her home since 1976. Choreographer and founder of Boston Tap, she taught tap extensively throughout the Boston area, as well as performing with her company, The Maureen Cosgrove Tap Dancers. A consummate collage-artist, Maureen received her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art, where she taught a variety of courses. For over six years, Maureen hosted the monthly Poetry Salon of Boston. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including What Rough Beast, Nixes Mate, 8 Poems, Lily Poetry Review and Coal Hill Review.